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tv   NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt  NBC  February 29, 2020 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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sustainability in flying. they made eight competition. the prize, 2 million bucks. they're going to announce the winner next month. we're back at 6:00. hope you can join us. breaking news tonight. the first death from the coronavirus inside the u.s. the victim, one of several new cases who contracted the disease within america including a high school student and school staffer washington state under a state of emergency and more than 50 patients and workers at one nursing home now showing symptoms. president trump with a rare saturday press conference announcing tough, new travel restrictions and warning more infections are to come. across the world, fresh panic. the entire country of south korea, 51 million, told to stay indoors. elsewhere, this clinic set on fire by angry citizens sporting events played
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to empty stadiums. nbc news projects a winner in the critical south carolina primary joe biden with a much-needed victory. does he now have a path to winning the nomination historic peace agreement with the taliban. when will american troops finally come home the astonishing deep freeze after wind and waves put an entire neighborhood on ice. >> announcer: this is "nbc nightly news" with jose diaz-balart. reporting tonight from south carolina. good evening we are reporting from columbia, south carolina, tonight for the state's crucial primary vote nbc news is projecting former vice president joe biden is the winner we'll have more on that in just a couple of minutes, but we begin with breaking news the first death in the united states from coronavirus. a man in his 50s died at a hospital near seattle. there are new concerns about how the virus is being transmitted inside the u.s also, the white house is taking new measures
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to contain the threat. gadi schwartz is in washington state with the very latest. >> unfortunately one person passed away overnight. >> reporter: at a washington state hospital thousands of miles away from the coronavirus epicenter, tragic news. the first coronavirus death in the united states. >> the person who died was a patient at evergreen hospital who had underlying health conditions. a male in his 50s. >> reporter: the cdc says it was likely community spread, meaning the source of infection is unknown in patients that have not recently traveled or been exposed to someone at risk. the death one of three new cases in the state. the other two also believed to the community spread and happening at a nursing home where officials say there may be an outbreak. >> we're in the process of investigating the situation as an outbreak. >> reporter: 27 residents and 25 staff all showing symptoms waiting for test results. the governor declares a state of emergency to prepare and respond. adding to the alarm,
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identifying more cases of community spread. 30 minutes north of the nursing home, a high school student whose classmates learned their school would be closed for three days >> i think most people were in shock and didn't believe it. because my friend's first reaction was just, you're lying like, no one believed it at first. >> reporter: oregon, a staff member at an elementary school. the cdc working to compile a growing list of everyone who might have come into contact with cases of covid-19 across the country states like washington welcoming the news that the fda will allow state and local governments to immediately test for the virus. health officials stressing though the risk is growing, most cases are mild but urging the public to wash their hands and stock up on goods at home. >> gadi, what's being done to contain the
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spread of the virus? >> reporter: jose, that is the question that so many people that live near think -- the nursing home want answered. remember, there are 50 people here tested for the virus. i want to show you how close it is to different houses out here an entire apartment complex right behind the nursing home you've got family houses all around this area kids out playing in the neighborhood this is a tightly knit community that is just now finding out about what's going on here meanwhile, this nursing home is not allowing any visitors inside and the cdc has dispatched a team here to investigate jose >> gadi schwartz from washington thank you very much. and president trump and his coronavirus task force talked to the nation about the death and impact of the disease across the country the commander in chief calling for calm and announcing tough, new travel restrictions. kelly o'donnell reports from the white house. >> reporter: calling an unusual saturday press conference, president trump announced new measures and sought to reassure >> we're prepared.
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>> reporter: making a new appeal for calm over coronavirus >> we will respectfully ask the media and politicians and everybody else involved not to do anything to incite a panic. no reason to panic at all. >> reporter: a travel warning today barring foreign national whose visited iran in the last 14 days from entering the u.s similar restrictions on china already in effect is plus, new warnings for europe and asia. >> we are urging americans to not travel to the areas in italy and the areas in south korea. >> reporter: on medical supplies, officials said, 43 million masks are available with more being made, but stressed those are for patients and health professionals. >> the average american does not need to go out and buy a mask >> reporter: the coronavirus emergency carried over to the president's speech at a conference for young conservatives. >> we will do everything in our power to keep the virus and those carrying the infections from entering our country. >> reporter: but here
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the president did not repeat his controversial comment at a rally friday accusing democrats of politicizing coronavirus. >> this is their new hoax. >> reporter: today, i asked the president if his use of hoax could be risky. >> you did use the word "hoax." couldn't that cause some people to not take the precautionary steps because they're linking what you're saying when you use the word hoax in the context of coronavirus? >> okay. hoax used with respect to democrats and what they were saying it was a hoax, what they were saying very clear, if you'd read the words >> kelly, the president will be meeting with pharmaceutical companies on monday? >> reporter: yes, jose a meeting already scheduled to talk about drug prices and now says he'll use that time to talk with the big pharma companies about developing vaccines for coronavirus and things the federal government can do to fast track any new medications that could be used to treat the illness. jose >> kelly o'donnell at the white house. thank you very much. the coronavirus
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has the world on edge. the spread of the disease creeping into even more countries causing major disruptions to everyday life. bill knee lneely reports from hard-hit italy. >> reporter: unprecedented action by south korea tonight. not just decontaminating cities but asking its entire population of 51 million to stay indoors. and reporting hundreds more cases of the virus today. in iran, anger at the highest death toll outside china and panic. a crowd setting fire to a clinic said to be treating virus patients an infected lawmaker, the latest to die. italy is the viral epicenter of europe. soccer matches today canceled the u.s. travel warning will hit its and south korea's economy. italy not only has the highest number of cases in the western world, but people from here spread the virus to mexico, brazil, nigeria and right
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across europe. 57 countries now confirming cases >> and i think this is a reality check for every government on the planet wake up. get ready. >> reporter: switzerland and france have banned all large gatherings the geneva motor show dismantled only china appears to be containing the virus, reporting only four new cases today outside the worst affected province, and still questions about this summer's olympics japan's prime minister today trying to reassure the world they will be saved and safe bill neely, nbc news, milan, italy. nbc news medical contributor dr. natalie azar joins us this evening one person in the united states have died from coronavirus. tens of thousands die from the flu each year put this in perspective for us. >> just yesterday, the
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w.h.o. raised the global impact and spread of covid-19 from a high to a very high today american officials reassured americans that the risk to the general public here remains low and reasserting around 80% of people actually have a mild illness. >> and overnight we learned several patients contracted coronavirus without having been overseas or in contact with anyone who's just returned from an infected country what's the concern here how is it being transmitted? >> the term here, jose, is something called community spread that means the source of exposure is not known. there is no direct link to an index case. this is problematic, because it makes it logistically difficult to identify, isolate and contact trace cases, and that's how an epidemic can be halted in its tracks. >> dr. natalie azar, thank you very much. our other top story, the primary here in south carolina nbc news is projecting former vice president joe biden answer winner
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it is a critical win for him and a springboard heading into super tuesday garrett haake with what today's win could mean for the rest of the race. >> reporter: tonight south carolina voters launching joe biden back to the front of the presidential pack. >> look, today -- today is a great day, because i tell you what the full comeback starts in south carolina. >> reporter: nbc news projecting biden will win the palmetto state, his first primary victory in three runs for the white house. >> is it your hope south carolina will send a signal that this is the guy to rally around >> i hope so. i hope this state sends the signal >> reporter: nbc exit l po polls show the south carolina electorate is the most diverse yet african-american voters making up a 55% of the vote. with biden's win in south carolina other candidates are already eyeing the coming contests mayor mike bloomberg
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spending $400 million in ads now using his money to buy three minutes of network airtime tomorrow night to address the president's handling of coronavirus. ♪ power to the people ♪ >> reporter: meanwhile bernie sanders is holding a massive rally in boston drawing his supporters in elizabeth warren's backyard >> if we do that, if we bring out our friends and neighbors and family members on tuesday, if we have the largest voter turnout in the history of a massachusetts primary -- [ cheers ] -- we can win here in massachusetts. we can win the democratic nomination. >> reporter: garrett, with a projected win for biden in south carolina how does this reshape the race heading into super tuesday? >> biden could use this to reel bernie sanders back in, in big delegate rich states like texas and california if 44 -- he performs well with african-american voters in virginia and north carolina, he could also hold of
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michael bloomberg there. potentially using tuesday to turn this into a two-man race. jose >> garrett haake, thank you very much. joe biden's projected win is significant, because more than half of today's voters are african-american, and the outcome here in south carolina could foreshadow how biden and the other candidates will do across the rest of the south. >> reporter: at this family-owned bakery in columbia, south carolina, the conversation - >> about ten minutes away from being done. >> reporter: -- isn't limited -- >> we do discuss politics >> reporter: -- to cake >> a lot >> reporter: rosa daniels has owned main street bakery almost 20 years using recipes handed down through generations. >> this one is a strawberry cake. >> reporter: working with her kids dana and billy, a united family, but a split vote >> i voted for biden i don't mind saying that. >> i'm voting today and leaning towards steyer. >> leaning towards elizabeth warren. >> reporter: rose's top concern, gun safety. >> i know you have a right to carry guns but didn't say anything about assault
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rifles. >> reporter: brother and sister looking for civility. >> what do you care about? >> gosh. i care about the divisiveness that's going on i don't like that. people are not listening to each other even if you have a different viewpoint. >> i want a regular person in the white house. >> reporter: those visiting the shop. >> even though we're black and everybody thinks we vote the same, we're not. we're not a monolithic people. >> reporter: come for the pies and the politics. >> doesn't it seem our children are growing up in a world where people lost respect for each other >> yes. >> yes. >> that starts from the top as well. because you have a lot of parents going to school and saying, kids are getting bullied. but when you have the leader of the free nation bullying you're -- your veterans, what do you think our children are going the see and think, this is acceptable >> this is the norm. >> exactly >> i don't like this new norm i don't like it. >> reporter: gun safety and health care dominate the
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conversation also the need to participate in thi democracy. >> we had to fight hard for the vote. >> do you think you'd vote for whoever it is >> yes i don't want to waste my vote. >> i'm ready to vote for whomever is going to rival trump in the general election i'm ready for change. >> reporter: just as those recipes are passed down from generation to generation so are the lessons about the importance of participating in the voting process so that every single voice is heard. up next, richard engel on the taliban terrorism and the new agreement the u.s. is making to help bring our troops home. plus, the big chill. we'll take you to the city covered in ice.
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we are back now with an historic agreement between the united states and the taliban that could bring peace to the region and ends america's longest fought war richard engle joins us from doha, qatar, where the agreement was signed earlier today. richard? >> reporter: this was one of the strangest scenes you could imagine. american diplomats in business suits and badges sitting down with dozens of representatives from the taliban. an islamic fundamentalist group that wants a pure state, which hosted osama bin laden before 9/11 that is what diplomacy looks like this is a withdrawal agreement, the u.s. promised to pull out all american troops, about 13,000 of them
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currently, and nat troops over the next 14 months, in exchange, the taliban has to make sure that afghanistan is never again a sanctuary for international terrorist groups like isis and al qaeda. but critics say all the taliban needs to do is wait it out, and it gets the country back. jose >> richard engle, thank you. to weather now, an astonishing video from upstate new york along lake erie, high wind and waves and freezing temperatures have put whole neighborhoods on ice near buffalo, homes frozen solid with razor sharp icicles almost reaching the ground and there's dangerous weather in western ireland as well. wind from a severe storm there tipped over this semi-truck and it was all caught on camera. the driver got out uninjured, but the gusts blew up to 80 miles an hour. disrupting travel across the country still to come, the extreme measures hospitals are taking to make sure your family is protected if
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coronavirus hits your community. plus -- hope and harmony. we'll meet a talented teenager now inspiring kids with cancer
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we're back now with our continuing coverage of the coronavirus, and the question a lot of people are asking. will the hospitals in my community be ready if there's an outbreak steve patterson reports on the measures hospitals are taking to make sure
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you're protected >> reporter: at kaiser medical center in oakland, there's an entire floor empty no doctors, no staff no patients. just ten rooms primed for an outbreak. >> how would a hospital like this operate in case of a real crisis? >> we have teams that are working right now to take care of patients to make sure we're getting it right. >> reporter: getting it right involves training its staff by conducting drills that use isolation room that have separate ventilation symptoms designed to prevent the spread of infections, like the coronavirus. >> we're going to get on the gear we need to get on >> reporter: right. >> we're going to go into the room, go around the bed as if we're giving the patient care. >> reporter: the entire process, including treatment, watched closely by a supervisor >> eyeballing this, making sure we don't have breaches or are uncertain. you feel hot, awkward. add a little anxiety to that, it's a patient with a disease you never treated. this is one additional safety check, to have
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that person outside watching what you're doing. >> reporter: currently there's no specific treatment for coronavirus. >> how many people are trained up for this? >> if you admit one patient, there are multiple shifts often for multiple days and multiple specialties so at all of our hospitals we are really pushing to have a significant proportion of our clinical staff trained. >> reporter: even hospitals that are doing proper training are facing supply shortages for things like masks and respirators because of shipping delays in an active flu season that already put a strain on resources. >> do you feel like you're prepared for an outbreak that's very serious? >> we've been planning for this for months. i think that's kind of the key to any real response, and all preparedness is planning ahead >> reporter: preparing for the worst at a decisive moment. steve patterson, nbc news, oakland. when we come back, hope and healing the teenager inspiring others with their beautiful music.
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♪ there's good news tonight about the healing power of music, and the inspiring gift one girl is giving to other kids with cancer ♪ >> reporter: from within this room -- the sounds of an angel. ♪ dry your tears >> reporter: sounds of hope for the kids,
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families, and staff at holtz children's hospitalcancer ward in miami the star -- 15-year-old former patient sophie treadwell. already an accomplished musician, she was in her orchestra class when she knew something just wasn't right. >> tell me about last may. what was that day? >> i just felt in my arm it was really sore and i was like, that's really weird why is this hurting? >> reporter: tests revealed a diagnosis that turned her world upside-down. leukemia >> we had to go immediately to the hospital the first thing i thought was, i don't belong here, this is not me, this is not who i am >> reporter: to cope with the agony, sophie worked with the hospital's music therapist stephanie epstein to make music part of her healing process. >> i would come in and bring different instruments and use music assisted relaxation to help get her through the procedures >> reporter: those sessions so meaningful sophie realized she had to come back to inspire other kids, and thank the staff
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who nursed her back to health. >> is it important for you to see the little kids here listening to the music? >> it really is, but hopefully my music brought some light into their lives and made them feel a little bit better. >> reporter: better and braver angel taylor and her 6-year-old andrei, sophie's music is a relief from the grueling treatments for his sickle-cell anemia. >> to see her smiling, singing, that's amazing. i hope one day that could be our story >> reporter: sophie's recovery uplifting for staff, too. >> when you get to see that it was worth it, even one person is able to go on, live a long, prosperous peaceful life, it really makes it worthwhile. >> reporter: once a patient, sophie, now an inspiration. >> tell me why you came back today. >> i came back to give everyone the happiness that they gave me while i was here they brought light into my life, so i
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wanted to give them the happiness that i had. >> sophie has given several concerts since completing her treatments and has more planned in the months ahead that's nbc nightly news for this saturday i'm jose diaz-balart reporting from columbia, south carolina thank you for the privilege of your time and good night right now at 6:00, another coronavirus patient in santa clara county tonight. what we're learning about who this patient came into contact with. the news at 6:00 starts right now. thanks for joining us. i'm terry mcsweeney. heightened concerns tonight as a
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fourth case is reported in the south bay. this all comes as the u.s. reports its first death from the coronavirus as well as new travel restrictions. we begin our team coverage with nbc bay area's roz plater. what do we know about this latest case in santa clara county? >> reporter: good evening, terry. first the good news. we're told that this patient is not ill and is not hospitalized. that's the good news. we're told she had household contact with the third woman that we learned that tested positive. we learned about her just yesterday, a woman who had been hospitalized here at el camino hospital. here is what's significant about that third case we learned about yesterday. this is a woman, we're told, who is older with underlying health conditions but she had not traveled to any of the countries known to be a hot spot for the virus, nor had she had any contact with anyone known to have the infection. so her source is unknown. health department officials say they had been preparing for this

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